New Post at AITS: Agile at Scale Enables Your Grilled Cheese Sandwich

My latest article for AITS was published today: Agile at Scale Enables Your Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

Amazon is one of the few very large companies with a completely Agile culture. You might not like what they are doing to their competitors or the stress levels their employees have to deal with, but they live Agile values and methods, from CEO Jeff Bezos all the way down. In this article, I look at how they were able to develop Prime Now in only 111 days.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read my stuff.

New PM Articles for the Week of August 7 – 13

New project management articles published on the web during the week of August 7 – 13. And this week’s video: Harry Hall explains how to identify, evaluate, engage, and influence your project stakeholders. Just 9 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Suzanne Lucas recaps recent events at Google, following the outing and firing of James Damor. Not surprisingly, Googlers are now afraid of being outed and fired. 3 minutes to read.
  • Andreas Sandre rounds up some rankings and statistics on gender and racial diversity among large technology companies. 3 minutes to read and well worth the time.
  • John Goodpasture reacts to John Kao’s auteur model of innovation, pointing out that the most successful innovation auteur was the late Steve Jobs. 2 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Pat Weaver observes that there is more to project success than benefits realization and meeting initial cost and schedule targets. 4 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews William Davis, creator of Excel-based Statistical Pert, who explains the difference between predicting and forecasting. 4 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy describes the project sponsor role and explains what to do when you have a weak sponsor. 6 minutes to read.
  • Lew Sauder recounts an anecdote that illustrates the fine line between giving the project sponsor too much information and not enough. 3 minutes to read.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Sabina Janstrom on the importance of stakeholder engagement to project portfolio management. Podcast, 20 minutes, safe for work.
  • Nick Pisano examines the failures of project management that can only result in an inadequate form of project monitoring. 15 minutes or so to read.
  • John McIntyre advises PMO leaders to ignore Waterfall vs. Agile and other false dichotomies in favor of choosing the best methods and tools for each project. 4 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from cultural revolutions to scaling autonomous teams, to high-performance teams. 11 outbound links, 3 minutes to browse.
  • Rich Mironov recommends we abandon the generic “user” and “customer” in favor of more specific role identities. And he goes off on a good rant, too. 5 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman identifies progress measurements that can be effective at the program level.
  • Atul Sinha explores the parameters of a “definition of ready” for a user story. 2 minutes to read.
  • Henny Portman summarizes a new book by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden, “Lean UX – Designing Great Products with Agile Teams.” 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • The Clever PM explains why silence works in facilitating communication, how to use it effectively, and how to combine it with active listening. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kara Swisher hosts “Built for Growth” authors Chris Kuenne and John Danner on becoming a great entrepreneur. Podcast, 56 minutes, mostly safe for work.
  • Bertrand Duperrin notes that successful transformation projects require that we expose the corporate culture to change. 3 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Ryan Ogilvie points out the software asset management selling points that will appeal to executive decision makers. 3 minutes to read.
  • Russell Brandom reports on the current, weakened state of two-factor authentication. “In 2017, just having two-factor is no longer enough.” 8 minutes to read.
  • Conner Forrest reports that Bill Burr, who wrote the NIST guidelines for password standards, “regrets” that advice. Good news: there’s an update available. 2 minutes to read.
  • Kamesh Ganeson explains ISO 22301, a widely-used standard for business continuity management. 4 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Rebecca Collins notes that 79% of knowledge workers work from home, and offers some suggestions on facilitating their success. 3 minutes to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland interviews Nenad Maljkovic on permaculture and designing sustainable remote systems. Podcast, 35 minutes, safe for work.
  • Thomas Oppong gives us a pep talk: stop managing your time and start owning it, through time boxing, the Pomodoro Technique, prioritizing, and just saying no. 5 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 31 – August 6

New project management articles published on the web during the week of July 31 – August 6. And this week’s video: ShadowCat’s wonderfully haunting cover of Song of Exile, from King Arthur. Just over six minutes, safe for work. Audience alert: if you’re into distortion-laden industrial / electronica, skip this.

Must read!

  • Mike Griffiths expands on a quote from Dianna Larson, ”Knowledge work is learning work.” 4 minutes to read.
  • Justin Bariso breaks down the legendary Steve Jobs’ response to a public insult, and why it was so effective. 4 minutes to read.
  • Craig Morrison explains why the “little details” of the user experience matter so much to users. 8 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • SightseersMichael Wood offers three anecdotes that illustrate how to use visual techniques in project management. 7 minutes to read.
  • Barry Hodge explains what and how to communicate at each project stage. 5 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman tutors us on managing cost, schedule, and technical performance risk. 6 minutes to read.
  • Harry Hall illustrates the Theory of Constraints with a poolside tale from his recent vacation. 5 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Chris Cook, author of The Entrepreneurial Project Manager. 5 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of all things Agile, from a case of failed product discovery to Agile misconceptions, to what Google has learned about creating effective teams. 3 minutes to browse, 11 outbound links.
  • Dave Prior and Tim Wise discuss stretch goals that are positive for the team. Podcast, 22 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Cohn describes common mistakes that Scrum masters make and tells how to correct them. 6 minutes to read.
  • Jack Reed notes that some suggestions to improve the Daily Scrum might not be … improvements. 5 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman is up to Part 5 in her series on Creating Agile HR. This link is to the first part, and she has breadcrumbs you can follow. Each is 3 – 4 minutes to read.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Yazmin Darcy on preparing for and passing the PMI-ACP exam. And now she’s working on developing the sample exam questions for the exam. Podcast, 49 minutes, safe for work.

Applied Leadership

  • Michael Lopp expounds on rumors that grow in the absence of communication, and the impact it has on both the team and the leader. 10 minutes to read.
  • Art Petty shares a dozen ideas on how to conduct more effective meetings. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton covers commonly used stakeholder analysis and engagement techniques. 10 minutes to read.
  • Elyse Stevens interviews Loretta Bayliss on how professional services firms should approach stakeholder engagement. Podcast,16minutes, safe for work.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Dániel Mátyás Vincze provides a beginner’s guide to serverless architectures, also known as Function as a Service (FaaS). 7 minutes to read.
  • Rich Malztman introduces the notion of “chunking,” the mind’s way of recognizing logical, coherent structures so we don’t bog down on the pieces. 3 minutes to read.
  • Jennifer Zaino considers the impact of data quality on an Agile Data Strategy. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Lisette Sutherland lists several up-and-coming virtual collaboration tools for remote teams. Podcast, 9 minutes, safe for work. The first minute is a poorly produced commercial – skip it.
  • Natalie Warnert shares her approach to packing for a week into one carry-on. 3 minutes to read, 3 outbound links.
  • Kerry Wills notes that some people ask questions in meetings to refine their understanding, while others … have other motives. 2 minutes to read.
  • Katrina Davies rounded up a few articles on diagnosing and improving your emotional intelligence. 2 minutes to browse, 10 outbound links.

Enjoy!